The drug alcohol detox process is perhaps the most physically and emotionally stressful aspect of recovery for individuals that have been suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. After weeks, months or years, depending on the substance, the body starts to rely on the drug and side effects appear once that substance is no longer being consumed. Depending upon the particular substance abused, an individual may face any number of these side effects referred to as withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be viewed as an addict’s body punishing them for not giving it what it needs — the drugs or alcohol.
The detox component of treatment does not always have to take place in a residential treatment center. There are many suitable options that allow addicts to get the help they need to get through detox, while still going about their regular lives. This is known as an outpatient detox. An outpatient detox will offer the medication needed for a comfortable detox while also requiring the addict or alcoholic to come to groups and go to 12 step meetings during the week. Outpatient detox usually consists of counseling too. As for staying accountable with the medication, each time the addict comes to group, they will bring their medication and it will be counted. If you are worried about how an addict or alcoholic can stay safe while in an outpatient detox, it is fairly simple.
People suffering from severe addictions to drugs or alcohol may struggle to overcome their dependency while living in their home environment, even if they have the support of an outpatient program. There are just far too many temptations that an individual can face when remaining in an environment that is already toxic to them. People, places, and events that remind them of their drug or alcohol use may tempt them to begin using again. This is why most addicts and alcoholics do better or at least choose to enter a residential treatment program instead of outpatient treatment. Residential treatment placement offers the security, safety, and accountability that can keep an addict or alcoholic from using and can also remove temptations from them. Of course residential treatment placement isn’t foolproof, but it can be more effective for those whose drug use and drinking are severe. Residential treatment is also a great option for addicts or alcoholics who continue to relapse despite their best efforts to stay clean and sober. Residential treatment placement offers a very safe space for healing from a drug and alcohol addiction.
There is always the potential for relapse following any addiction treatment, which is why it is essential for addicts to choose treatment options that offer them a better chance at long-term recovery. Gradually stepping down the level of care, say from residential to IOP to outpatient, can also increase an addict’s chance in recovery by making these challenging transitions go more smoothly.
Mental health and substance abuse are often so closely linked that it can be hard to differentiate which issue began first. This is why dual diagnosis treatment is an appropriate option for many addicts, as addiction and mental health usually go hand in hand. Dual diagnosis treats addiction and mental health as a part of the same package, under the belief that treating just one of the conditions will ultimately result in relapse with the other. A dual diagnosis program recognizes the importance of treating both the mental health condition and the addiction at the same time. Treating both the mental health condition and the addiction gives an addict or alcoholic the best shot at recovery.